Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

We Live for Others, Too – As Seen in a Touching Commercial

Some years ago, a priest friend urged me to return to a priest support group that all priests are encouraged to find and join. But as so often happens with everyone, priests get busy and we start missing the meetings. The leader of the group urged me to return. When I responded that I wasn’t […] Read the rest of this entry »

Faith is not alone, Scripture is not alone, Grace is not alone. We ought not separate what God has joined.

There are a lot of “solos” sung by our Protestant brethren: Sola Fide (saved by faith alone), Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone is the rule of faith), and sola gratia (grace alone). (See the Protestant logo to the right.) Generally, one ought to be suspicious and careful of claims that things work “alone.” It is our […] Read the rest of this entry »

When Science is Betrayed – and What Lessons We Should Learn

There is a great reverence for science in our culture. On the one hand, rightly so. Science has made enormous strides that have changed life as we know it. Profound discoveries have eradicated diseases, improved health, increased the world’s food supply, led to a computer revolution, drawn us higher into outer space and deeper into inner […] Read the rest of this entry »

Mystery Is Deep and Yet Vertical – A Brief Meditation on the Christian Meaning of Mystery

In the secular world, a “mystery” is something which baffles or eludes understanding, something which lies undisclosed. And the usual attitude of the world toward mystery is to solve it, to get to the bottom of it, or to uncover it. Mysteries must be overcome! The riddle or “whodunit” must be solved! In the Christian and especially […] Read the rest of this entry »

Should People Stop Saying “Absolutely” So Much? Absolutely! – A Short Rant on an Overused Expression and Why it Should be Avoided

One of the most overused terms in modern speech is the word “absolutely.” As in, “Do you want some gravy with those potatoes?” “Absolutely!” Or, “Would you agree that solution ‘X’ is the best solution to problem ‘Y’?”  “Absolutely!” What to call this … an expression? A semantic substitution for “yes?” A logism? A hyperbole? […] Read the rest of this entry »

A Parable on the Lies of the Devil and the False Promises of the World

One of the great illusions under which we labor is that if we just get one more thing from this world, then we’ll be happy. Perhaps if we just had a little more money, or a better job, or the latest iPad, or if we were married to so-and-so, or if we just lived in […] Read the rest of this entry »

Wading in the Troubled Water Saves You, Not Taking a Bridge Over It – A Homily for the Baptism of the Lord

Today’s feast of the Baptism of the Lord provides a moment to reflect not only on the Lord’s baptism, but also on our own. For in an extended sense, when Christ is baptized, so are we, for we are members of His body. As Christ enters the water, He makes holy the water that will baptize […] Read the rest of this entry »

In Ritual, There’s Always More to the Story, as Seen in a Commercial

In the realm of liturgy there is often heard the voice of “historicists” who like to explain why something began in the liturgy historically. Usually their purpose for this is to say that it is silly to keep doing it today. But of course this logic is flawed, since even things that began for a […] Read the rest of this entry »

What Do the Scriptures Mean by “the Flesh”?

There is a common misunderstanding of the meaning of the Biblical phrase “the flesh.”  There are many references to “the flesh” in New Testament Scripture, especially in the letters of St. Paul. The phrase confuses some, who think it synonymous with the physical body or merely with sexual sin. It is true that there are many […] Read the rest of this entry »

Living on the Dark Side of the Cartesian Divide – A Reflection on the Gnosticism of our Times

There is a line in the first letter of John, read this week at Mass, that is of critical importance to many difficulties we see today with heresy, unbelief, and moral decay. The line says: Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets […] Read the rest of this entry »

If the Second Vatican Council Had Never Happened, Would We Still Have a “New Mass?” … Quite Possibly

One of the unfortunate couplings with those who lament the loss of the “pre-Conciliar” Mass (a.k.a. Traditional Latin Mass (TLM), Extraordinary Form, 1962 Missal, etc.) is the linking of the “New Mass” (a.k.a. Ordinary Form) wholly with the Second Vatican Council. This connection, while understandable given the emergence of the Ordinary Form just after the Council, is […] Read the rest of this entry »

Overcoming Life’s Storms: A Teaching From St. Paul to Some Storm-weary Souls

In the midst of a great storm in Acts 27, St. Paul finds himself among desperate and defeated people. Though the storm is from nature, their problems are of their own doing and are rooted in a foolish refusal to listen to either natural warnings or God. All of this foolishness was described in yesterday’s post. Is […] Read the rest of this entry »